In a last second shot situation, it's not always the first shot you worry about, it's the offensive rebound and put back that usually ends the game! That is the situation the RedHawks found themselves in Wednesday night in their first road game of the season at Kuyper College. IU Northwest freshman Billy Barker secured an offensive rebound and scored what was the game winning shot with only 1.1 seconds remaining on the clock to help push the RedHawks to a 116-114 thrilling win.
"It was ugly, but sometimes you have to win ugly games" said Coach Schnatz. "I am excited that our guys held on and found a way to grind out a tough win."
The RedHawks found their rhythm on the offensive end early shooting 5 of 7 from three in the first half and 48% from the field. Freshman Nate Flores and Sophomore JJ Pennington led the RedHawks early with 12 and 11 points respectively, taking a 2 point lead into halftime 54-52.
Balanced scoring and 46 points off the bench from the RedHawks kept the game exciting. There were eight lead changes and six ties as the two teams battled back and forth late into the second half. The RedHawks stretch their largest lead to 12 (103-91), but the Cougars rallied late to tie the game at 114 with 15 seconds on the clock.
"We ran a set that gives Nate (Flores) options" said Coach Schnatz. "Devin (Ellis) had a great look from three and Billy put himself in position to help us win, it was a great team effort tonight and a big win for us" added Coach Schnatz.
Efficient shooting (FG%-50.6%) and points off the bench (46 points) were key factors in tonight's win. The RedHawks out rebounded the Cougars 56-37 and were 12-19 from behind the arc.
Devin Ellis led the RedHawks with 22 pts,5 reb, and 2 asst. Darrius Davis scored 18 pts off the bench and added 4 reb, 7 asst. Four more RedHawks were in double figures tonight as Nate Flores and JJ Pennington each had 15 pts, DJ Teague finished with 14 pts and 10 reb while Justin Dexter chipped in 12 pts going a perfect 5-5 from the field and adding two free throws.
The RedHawks (2-1) are back in action this Sunday at home vs. Carroll College (NAIA Div I). Tip off is 1pm cst.